To The Maxx

chicken and pears
July 30, 2007, 1:02 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

just when i didn’t want to let this blog become nothing but weird youtube clips…

here’s christopher walken cooking scary food.


July 27, 2007, 4:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

WARNING: the following is filled to the brim with foul language, paranoid delusion and… life destruction.

so i guess she doesn’t like telemarketers?

(thank you dave)

cover girl
July 26, 2007, 2:39 pm
Filed under: music

ariel pink

a few weeks ago i made a nice purchase at family.

i got an Ariel Pink 7′ called “My Molly EP.” It’s a five song deal, all home recordings from when he was 19 yrs old.

i once read a spot on description of his music…. i can’t remember where i read it, but (and i’m paraphrasing here) it went something like this: his music sounds like AM radio broadcasting through a turntable with a cactus needle as the needle and a styrofoam cup as the speaker. something like that.

anyway i love reclusive geniuses and i love lo-fi. hence, i love ariel pink and this EP.
it came out a year ago, and was recorded nine years ago, but it’s new to my ears and i want to share.

the song that i’m most excited about is his cover of The Smiths b-side “This Night Has Opened My Eyes.” He recently cut a cover of “Everybody” for a Madonna tribute album (mp3 available @ stereogum), but i like this cover way more. when I first heard it I didn’t realize that it was a Smiths song and thought he was just doing a strange homage to Morrissey….. or an “hoMoz” (pronounced O-‘mäz, not hO-mOz/).

but no, it’s cover. and here it is in all its digital glory, for the phonographically challenged:


(buy) (myspace)

and here’s a video of the original, for your comparison:

bonnie “prince” billy is my hype man…
July 25, 2007, 9:39 am
Filed under: film, music

Zach Galifianakis and Will Oldham (and their facial hair) star in the official alternate video for Kanye West‘s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” (via Pitchfork). MUST SEE.

THIS is the best Kanye West video hip hop video music video ever.

ghost stories/cowboy movies
July 24, 2007, 4:51 pm
Filed under: music

standing nudes

new york quartet Standing Nudes have posted to their website all eight and a half minutes of “Honeybee,” the grand finale of their debut full-length Ghost Story because it’s “too long for myspace.”

the song starts off in Sonic Youth mode, with some Life Without Buildings style lyrical repetition from singer Molly Shea, before gradually sliding off into swirly trippy swelly druggy sludgy mode. then it collects itself and shifts into a tight yet mellowed-out groove that recalls one of my favorite songs ever, David Crosby’s “Cowboy Movie.”

then the song opens up again for some guitar calisthenics courtesy of jason maartens klauber and the chaotic drum thuggery of will stone (both dudes are also in stylofone).

then the song gets tight and vibey again.

then the song ends.

anyway, it’s big and it’s sorta mind-expanding and i rather like it.

STREAM: STANDING NUDES “HONEYBEE” and watch the pastel pixels trip the light fantastic HERE.

(buy cd/digital) (myspace)

a quick one while he’s away
July 23, 2007, 12:08 am
Filed under: film, music

just got back from the cinema. three nice things happened.

1. on the way to the theater, I heard my pals miniature tigers on indie 103.1, must’ve been around 9:20pm. the dj played “dino damage” and mentioned the show on thursday at pershing square. be there or be square. get pershed!

2. i saw sunshine. visually amazing, sort of messy, but i thoroughly enjoyed it. i’m a sucker for impending doom and extreme heat.

3. they showed the trailer for Wes Anderson’s latest, THE DARJEELING LIMITED!

Update: here’s the trailer!

Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman together at last! I don’t remember too many details because I was kind of freaking out, but I do remember two great lines of dialogue: “We think the train is lost,” and Schwartzman yelling at Brody and Wilson: “I love you too but I’m gonna mace you in the face.”

I also remember the music. The trailer was not accompanied by music from the films of Merchant Ivory and Satyajit Ray, as the poster credit reads (where’s Mark Mothersbaugh?), but by the music of The Kinks, from the brilliant concept album “Lola vs. the Powerman & the Money-Go-Round, Pt. 1.” I think I heard “This Time Tomorrow” (but I can’t be certain as, again, i was freaking out) but I definitely heard my favorite Kinks songs, the Dave Davies penned “Strangers,” play for the second half of the trailer.

So, because the trailer isn’t online yet, here’s that song:


(buy cd/vinyl)

one by one
July 20, 2007, 12:53 pm
Filed under: music

new artist alert:


points of reference: springsteen, steve earle, townes van zandt, dylan, neil young (and on the more recent tip, conor oberst minus the cheese factor).

but i hate tossing off names like that without actually qualifying the comparison.

by which i mean to say that robert francis, through the quality of his songcraft, situates himself right in there with these greats who came before him. he’s not just “influenced by _______ ” or “sounds like _____________.”i see it more like this: he’s “the second-coming of _________” or he’s “the resurrection of _______.” he’s the real deal.

he’s not some indie kid who happens to like country and folk music. his songs come from a place of truth… his is an authentic point of view and the whole thing becomes a bit overwhelming once you realize that the guy’s only 19 years old.

his songs are like shapeshifters…. you get lulled into the fragility of his young voice and before you’ve realized it, the raw power of the music blindsides you, knocks you down.

i saw robert’s show earlier this week at bordello, in downtown los angeles. it was a nice setting for his music… dark, moody, an air of faded decadence. robert played guitar, backed by bass, pedal steel, keys and two skinny shirtless longhair drummers. and as good as the songs are on record, the live arrangements are even more powerful. the dual drums really drive the music in an exciting way. sonically, the live vibe reminded me of the arcade fire.

the thing, though, is that it’s a real thrill to watch the man play these songs, to invoke them, emote them. it’s a shame that you can’t watch his face as you listen to his album, you know? i always thought he looked like a young warren oates from “the wild bunch.”

here is a cut down version (per label request) of the gorgeous, epic title track (featuring Joachim Cooder on drums, Amir Yaghmai on violin and Juliette Commagere on vocals) from robert francis‘ first record “One By One,” in stores August 21, but available from his label, los angeles based Aeronaut Records right now.


(four more songs available on myspace)

tour dates:
Aug 4 2007, Big Sur Showcase, Big Sur, California
Aug 5 2007, Henry Miller Library, Big Sur, California (w/ Hello Stranger)
Aug 17 2007, The Sports Page, Bigfork, Montana
Aug 18 2007, Raleighs, Polson, Montana
Aug 19 2007, Raleighs, Polson, Montana
Aug 23 2007, Mt. Tabor Theater, Portland, Oregon (w/ Highway)
Aug 31 2007, The Roxy, Hollywood, California (record release show)
Sep 9 2007 9:00P, WE and KCRW present Robert Francis w/ The Album Leaf, Santa Monica, California